Floating Stratocaster Trem Problem. Anybody Been There?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by GoldDeluxe5E3, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. GoldDeluxe5E3

    GoldDeluxe5E3 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi. I've got a late 90's Roadhouse Strat, US made, and several years ago, I followed the instructions of a Youtube strat tech to make my stock trem a floating trem.

    It seems to work as advertised, except I've been unable to rid the instrument of one problem; the G string going flat. It goes flat every time I bend it, which is pretty frequently as you might guess, and I have to depress the trem to get it to jump back into tune each time after a bend. I've put on one of those fake slippery nuts, but no help.

    Anybody else been there? How did you solve?

    Thanks and Happy Holidays to all.
     
  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Check the nut, sounds like it's binding. If the slot is wide enough, draw in it with a mechanical pencil at the next string change to lay a little graphite down in the bottom.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
  3. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    And make sure the string is well stretched out - and not wrapped around the post more than three times. Are the strings new?

    I float the trem on all my strats (4 of them) and they stay in tune quite well.
     
  4. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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    Could be binding at the nut, tree, or saddle.
     
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  5. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic

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    String tree could also be a problem. You might be able to get away with not using it.

    a couple of my guitars are good without the trees. Some aren’t.
     
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  6. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Something is binding, or that string didn’t quite get locked down on your tuner peg. I messed that up on a Strat with through hole tuners once, and had a heck of a time keeping those plain strings in tune. I fixed it by doing something like what I do for split tuners to lock the string when I install it. Haven’t had a problem since.
     
  7. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Afflicted

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    On the back of the headstock are all of the little screws secure. Does the machine head wiggle back-and-forth? I never see anyone mention it and it seems to be An overlooked problem. Also I guess I’m in old timer and I imagine you’re referring to the one two and three-e b & g thing? Funny but the first time the guys at World of Strings showed me that back in the 70s The G did that and I think even someone told me you would see Richie Blackmore compensate the same way. That was OK back then but I think everyone else’s suggestions here are completely valid, referring to the trees and nuts and string winds. You also want to make sure there’s no burrs on your saddles, The G string is notorious for cutting in even the stainless steel-Hardened steel saddles. I apologize if someone mentioned that already. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
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  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I never had problems with my floating Stratocaster tremolo system. But I put graphite into every point of contact between the string and anything else. The nut, the saddle, and string trees if they were there.
     
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  9. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    You could add a spring, thats worked for me before. I’ve set my reissue strat up to float, (with .9s) and it really worked best with at least 4 springs. 3 wouldnt exactly cut it, it just wouldn’t return to pitch exactly great all of the time.
     
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  10. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Holic

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    Do you have a wound or unwound G string? Might be a factor...
     
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  11. Diytelecaster

    Diytelecaster Tele-Meister

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    Too much or too little windings on the tuner post could give you gip.
     
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  12. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Afflicted

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    According to this guy, there's a workaround, but he has no idea why this happens and why doing this fixes it.

     
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  13. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Holic

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    If it's just one string, it has to be binding at the nut or string tree. You shouldn't really need a string tree on the g string.

    Good luck
     
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  14. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I would first make sure the string is properly stretched, and if it's still going flat it's almost definitely a problem at the nut.


    More generally, to get the most out of a floating trem, I use a trem setter: https://www.thomann.de/gb/goeldo_backbox.htm

    Makes the whole thing much more stable.
     
  15. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm in the remove the string tree camp. I remove the DG string tree and use the taller spacer for the BE string tree. I also polish the underside of the tree and break the edges with a file.
     
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  16. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    I could be that guy and say 'get a G&L like me and never have an issue' but instead I'll be helpful and agree with others by looking into the string trees and the wrap of the g string on the post.
     
  17. ChuckC

    ChuckC Tele-Meister

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    The tuning problem is the same as it is in most cases, the nut..... It's happening because the G string is sticking flat at the nut after a bend. The "workaround" is good because he has tuned properly to begin with so that tapping the whammy fixes the flat G string. While tuning a guitar,tap on the whammy bar at the same time you are tuning each string up to pitch.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
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  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can't just slap on a pre-made nut and expect it to work.

    Nor is the material important. Bone, plastic, teflon-laced, metal, whatever. All work fine, if made correctly.

    What is important is that the nut slots are cut to the right depth, and that they have enough width to allow the string to slide freely through them. Your nut is binding the G.

    You must slot all nuts after installing, factory pre-slotted or not. Use the files that are made for the string set one above yours. E.g. if you play on 10s, then use the files for 11s.
     
  19. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Sold the Strat and bought a Tele, no more problems!
     
  20. RobRiggs

    RobRiggs Tele-Holic

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    The bridge on my Strat rides about an 1/8” off deck. A graph tech nut & string tree with locking tuners are the best mods I’ve ever made for tuning stability. A little silicone paste on the saddles occasionally where the strings ride and I can play the thing for an hour with vigorous trem use and it stays in tune.
     
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